Artist: CanibusTitle: Rip The JackerRating: 4 StarsReviewed by: C. Brown
Since entering the rap game in the late 90’s, the MC known as Canibus has been synonymous with hard-core battle rhyming. Even after scribing several classic verses , Canibus has been the type of artist that most hip hop fans have grown to either love, hate or forget. For every fan that labels him a future legend, there are three others that label him a one-dimensional battle MC with no variety. After leaving Universal, the mainstream music industry seemed disregard the man heralded as one of the finest. However, throughout his career, Canibus has proved that whether hit or miss, his passion for hardcore lyricism cannot be questioned. In recent months, Canibus has allowed his “alter ego” Rip The Jacker to take over in the studio and laid down an accapella album full of vocals. Those vocals were paired with original beats provided by producer extrodinaire, Stoupe of Jedi Mind Tricks. The result is Canibus’ fifth full length album: Rip The Jacker
Canibus spits with cruel intentions on songs like “Spartibus”, “Genabis”, and “Levitibis” using his deep vocabulary, scientific concepts, battle rhymes and descriptive imagery to demonstrate what Rip The Jacker is capable of. On “Genibus.” Bis offers the listener a look into the origins of the MC he has come to be:
“In the beginning I discovered wordplay, I experimented with the same syllables from the first to the third day/On the fourth day I searched for the words to say, how to compress complex verbiage into the least amount of space/I was perfect at it and mastered the tactics, on the fifth day I decided I would combine it with mathematics/On the sixth day I became a fanatic, and I couldn’t kick the habit, I would just look in the mirror and practice/On the seventh cycle, I had to take the day off, I was exhausted I guess my work will never pay off…”
Throughout the album, Canibus rhymes over arguably the best production, compliments of Stoupe. On “No Return”, the Jedi-Mind producer provides a dancehall flavored track in which Canibus flexes his story telling ability describing three versions of his death. On “Showdown at the Gallows”, and “Indibisible”, Stoupe adds a Latin-tinge to the tracks and the results are impressive. On the latter track, Bis punishes the beat with a verbal barrage: “Hip Hop forever, that’s what I see when I look in the mirror, regardless of whether or not Im a best seller/Im a first class spitter, the literal, literature ripper painting pictures for intelligent listeners/From any and all dispositions, the fusion of what’s written creates a fission called Canibus-ism…”. Other neck-snapping tracks are “Psych Evaluation”, and the sinister “Cemantics”.
Closing out the album is the sequel to a previous song from the”Mic Club” song, “Poet Laureate II”. Stoupe saves his finest work for last only for Canibus to completely mutilates a track that changes several times for over seven minutes straight. While rhyming about his alter egos in the third person perspective, Canibus drops several jewels full of substance, and granting an introspective look into past hardships:
“…I followed his career from the first day, it seemed like the lack of support contributed to his inert ways/I seen him put in 24 hour work days with deferred pay undeterred by the word shame/Public Humiliation was the worst pain, he was spinning out of control like a class 5 hurricane/He said he wouldn’t want another Mc to suffer the same especially when there is nothing to gain/He was the illest alive but nobody would face it, he spit until his tongue was too torched to taste it….”
With Rip The Jacker, Canibus has provided the listener with the standard dose of incredibly sharp lyricism complimented with hot tracks. He’s adopted a more technical approach to rhyming in terms of his style which has changed considerably since the late 90s. For the most part, the beats dont quite match the fierceness of Canibus’s verbal fire power, but still present a contrasting and adequate backdrop for his relentless lyrics. Rip The Jacker may not pack the industrial strength of Mic Club, but it is yet another fine addition to Canibus’s catalogue.